Did you know that within 15 seconds a buyer has already developed an opinion of your property? This is why establishing the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale. Following is a list of elements which create the overall first impression, including suggestions on how to make sure the buyer reacts favorably.
A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your apartment. If you do not want to spend the money to paint the entire apartment, consider just the entry at least.
Attractive windows can help increase appeal.
* Replace any cracked or broken glass.
* Make sure the windows are sparkling clean.
* Apply touch-up paint where needed.
The doorway is a focal point of your home.
* Repaint the door.
* Apply new door hardware.
* Install a brass kick plate.
* Replace apartment numbers.
* Install a new front light fixture.
Appeal to the Senses
The home should be sparkling clean, not just for the first Open House but for every single showing. No dust. No clutter not a single thing that will result in a negative reaction. Sellers do well to remove into storage as much as possible.
There are many ways to create a more exciting and saleable interior, at surprisingly little cost.
People react more favorably to property shown under bright light than dark.
* Keep windows clean.
* Use adequate wattage in light bulbs.
* Consider replacing older fluorescent lamps, which darken with use.
* Use mirrors to magnify the feeling of light and space.
* Use track lights to create a high-tech look.
* Use light wall colors.
* Open drapes and blinds and turn on lights prior to showings.
Keep colors neutral and light.
* Shades of white, off-white and very light pastels are the safest choices for the interior.
* Avoid highly patterned wallpaper whenever possible.
* Try to limit bright colors to accents like fresh flowers, towels, area rugs and shower curtains.
The sounds of peace and quiet are some of the best sounds to have when your home is being shown to a prospective buyer. But there are other sound considerations you should also be aware of.
* Avoid barking dogs and noisy children, if possible.
* Also avoid sounds of work like vacuums, dishwashers and lawn mowers.
* Make sure there are no sounds of mechanical problems like banging pipes or faulty appliances.
* Light classical or instrumental music can be effective in creating a pleasing atmosphere.
Smell has more impact than you might expect. It can work for or against you.
* The smell of newness is positive. This scent can be achieved by applying a fresh coat of polyurethane to natural wood or latex paint to walls.
* The smell of cleanliness is important to the selling environment of your house. Beyond actually cleaning, lemon oil or lemon wax can help create a lasting scent of freshness. Fresh flowers can also be effective.
* For a real heart-warming touch, place a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create the aroma of fresh-baked cookies or bread. Cinnamon stick in microwave for 30 seconds works great too.
* Sweeten the refrigerator with a box of baking soda.
* Smells to avoid include strong pet odors, tobacco, and cooking oil or gas.
Packaging the Interior
The entry is where the first impression of the interior is created. Here you have the opportunity to make a big statement in a small area.
* Repaint the entry using light, neutral colors.
* Move a prized antique or attractive furnishing to the entry, where it will have maximum impact.
* Install simple chair rail molding on the wall.
* Apply a fresh coat of polyurethane to a wood floor.
* Tile or linoleum flooring should shine.
* Replace plastic switch plate covers with brass or porcelain.
* A new hall light fixture can make a great impression.
* Make sure the room is well lit.
The kitchen is an important room in the apartment. Here is a list of ideas to increase the appeal of your kitchen without spending a great deal of money.
* Make sure the room is virtually spotless and smells fresh. Try putting a quarter section of a lemon in the disposal and grinding it up.
* Consider replacing outdated light fixtures with new track lighting.
* If your appliances are dated by colors like harvest gold or avocado, consider having them professionally refinished in a new color like almond or plain white. This will make appliances look new at a fraction of the cost of actually replacing them.
* Spruce up kitchen cabinets by installing new knobs or hardware.
* If your cabinets look especially old, you can have a professional replace the doors or door fronts.
* Organize your kitchen cabinets to demonstrate how much room you have. Cabinet organizers are a good investment for this.
* Remove small kitchen appliances and gadgets from countertops to create an uncluttered look.
* Chipped or damaged countertops should be repaired or replaced.
* If your floor is badly worn, replace it with neutral no-wax flooring or tile.
* A freshly painted kitchen may be well worth the investment.
The bathroom has become an important selling feature in today's home. It is a room that has moved from the utilitarian to the exciting. There are many ways you can improve deficiencies and create interest through various levels of enhancement.
* Place a vase of fresh flowers on the vanity.
* Install a wall telephone for a high-tech look.
* Replace an old toilet seat.
* Replace an old light fixture with a new style light strip or make-up light.
* Refinish an old porcelain tub using a porcelain finishing service.
* Place all personal care articles out of sight.
* Freshen the air with lemon scented products.
* Replace an old towel rack with one of brass or oak.
* Add color and richness with new towels and shower curtain.
The living room is a major selling point of an apartment. Buyers look for elegant and impressive living rooms to make the right statements to their friends and relatives.
* Use mirrors whenever possible to enhance the perception of size.
* A fireplace is one feature that everyone can appreciate - show it off to its best advantage. Sweep it clean and make sure the screen is in good condition
* Use inexpensive free-standing "can" lights to create dramatic visual effects behind large plants or pieces of furniture.
* Use chair rail or cornice molding to create a feeling of elegance.
* Professionally clean wall-to-wall carpet or large area rugs.
* Sand and refinish stained hardwood floors.
* Clean windows and light fixtures.
* Make sure all cosmetic plaster cracks are repaired. (This applies to every room in the house.)
* Use lemon oil on hardwood furniture to create the right look and aroma.
* Liberal use of fresh flowers and plants will enhance the environment.
The bedrooms can do as much to sell your house as they can to turn off a buyer.
* Make sure the bedrooms are absolutely spotless.
* Rugs should be cleaned, windows washed and fresh smells from flowers or lemon oil should be in the air.
* Organize closets to increase their perceived size.
* Rubberized wire closet organizers do a great job of helping fully utilize space.
* Mirrored closet doors can add dramatically to the feeling of size in any bedroom.
* Bedrooms should be well lit. You may want to add track lights in the master bedroom.
* A ceiling fan can be an attractive and practical accent to any bedroom.
By showing attention to detail and understanding the buyer's needs to visualize your home against a neutral backdrop, you can dramatically increase the salability of your property.
Updated originally posted: July 01, 2009
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